Samsung wants to create the 2-in-1 device work — you can say it’s crucial to the Apple-trouncing ecosystem the provider would like to build. The company’s latest attempt at that is the Galaxy Book, a spiritual successor to its Galaxy TabPro S of last year.
The Galaxy Book, frankly, does not do a lot different from the Windows tablet computer that preceded it, but instead refines it using some marked improvements, namely a much greater keyboard cover than before. However, exactly what Samsung’s tablet needed was not improvements on the current layout so much as possibly another design altogether.
The outcome is a Windows tablet that is just fine in construction and functionality, but one that continues to lag behind rivals.
Price and availability
Samsung sees itself in a tough position regarding how it’s priced the Galaxy Book. Once it comes in 10.6- and- 12-inch varieties, the more broadly comparable 12-incher begins at $1,129 (about #867, AU$1,510).
That price gets you a Windows 10 tablet housing an Intel Core i5 chip (Kaby Lake), 4GB of memory, and a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD) supporting a gorgeous Super AMOLED touchscreen in 2,160 x 1,440 resolution, and having an S-Pen stylus and keyboard cover included.
For reference, a similarly-specced Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (with a keyboard cover included) can be had for nearly $200 less via Amazon on sale in the US, as of this writing.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Active Review, even though it also houses a sharper screen, more port variety and Windows Hello support — face recognition through its infrared (IR) camera in which the Samsung option requires a Galaxy phone connected through a Samsung Flow program.
If you want a 10-inch variant of the Galaxy Book, with a TFT touch panel instead of this Super AMOLED screen, you will need to cover $629 (about #480, AU$800) to get 4GB of memory and 64GB of SSD storage powered by an Intel Core m3 chip (Kaby Lake) behind a 1,920 x 1,280 touchscreen.
Both of the 10-inch and 12-inch versions can get their storage doubled for a second $100 and $200, respectively, although the latter also gets double the RAM (8GB) for that price. A 12-inch model having the LTE radio powered by Verizon using 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage is also available for $1,299 at the US.
The problem here using all the Galaxy Book price is that its substances do not exactly shout worth of such an entry fee. For instance, while the build quality on screen is striking, the pill comes in a plastic frame.
Granted the plastic feels lots sturdy and smooth, giving the illusion off of aluminum in a distance. The Galaxy Book employs curved edges all around the body, providing the feeling that this is a tablet computer initially and a laptop moment.
Speaking of which, the Galaxy Book tacks on four-tenths of an inch over its predecessor at 0.29 inches thin.
Figuring out exactly what the Galaxy Book appears and feels just like, Samsung equipped the Galaxy with all kinds of tablet niceties, such as a top-oriented power button and volume rocker, and a rear-facing, 13 megapixel (MP) camera that nobody will (or shouldn’t) use. Though, its front-facing, 5MP webcam is not infrared and therefore does not offer secure Windows Hello login.
(For this, again, you’ll require a Galaxy phone and the Samsung Flow app, which allows for biometric safe login through the cellphone’s methods — not trendy.)
Of course, the Galaxy Book is accompanied by an S-Pen stylus — it is first time comprised on a computing device — and backlit keyboard pay included in the price, neither of which demand charging whatsoever. The former of which doesn’t offer much function beyond drawing, with nothing but a simple button that activates a secondary function, usually erasing in most drawing apps.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review, as a result, and is hard to shed with Samsung’s comprised pencil loop. The loop retains the matte gray plastic pen snugly, and has its very own dedicated place on the added keyboard cap to be attached to using a strong adhesive that is already on the loop.
Keyboard cover still doesn’t cut it
We love Samsung’s valiant assignment to get its take on the keyboard cover working for 12-inch devices, but it is time to give up the ghost. There’s nothing wrong with the keyboard’s feedback and travel depth — both are very enjoyable, actually.
It’s that firstly, the keyboard lays completely flat when using the device as a laptop, which isn’t very comfortable; secondly, typing with the device on your lap often feels as if the device is going to spill right out and finally, figuring out the keyboard cover’s various magnetized orientations feels like making origami to get it aligned with the tablet’s several magnets correctly.
In short, this is a keyboard cover design which is not conducive to a lot of kinds of work, yet at the exact same time is essential to using the Galaxy Book in these very scenarios. This is only because Samsung still needs the computer keyboard cover to act as the device’s kickstand. Frankly, as we’ve seen from other device makers before (including Samsung), it doesn’t work out so well.
Nevertheless, the keyboard cover’s soft-touch plastic feels quite comfortable to break your palms on, while it provides up little to no flex when flexed — a nice indication of sturdiness.
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Review, the Samsung Galaxy Book fights in Precisely the Same ring as Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 and even the iPad Pro. That said, it’s clear that updated hardware does make a difference, albeit an incremental one.
The Galaxy Book’s Kaby Lake Intel chip stands to give it a bit more electricity over its rivals from Microsoft and Apple, but not necessarily more longevity.
As you can see from the benchmarks, the Galaxy Book is marginally stronger than the Surface Pro 4, which in real-world use will amount to basically no difference.
Standard workloads will be just fine on the Galaxy Book, but anything beyond basic photo editing will likely result in a trip to lag city.